January 24, 2015

Opening PDF’s into Photoshop

( Image 1 )

Just the other day I was working on a little project for a friend of mine and I needed a page out of one of my PDF’s. While I was doing this, my friend was looking over my shoulder and watching me working on his project.  I had both Photoshop and the Bridge open so I just dragged the PDF I needed over into Photoshop and the normal dialog box opened up with the page options and other items.  My friend (who also has been using Photoshop for years) says “did you just open a PDF in Photoshop? ”  I guess this was totally new to him and I just figured anyone using Photoshop knew you could open PDF’s this way; they are after all Adobe products and are one of the options in the Save As drop down items menu's right?

Well for those of you that didn’t know this, I’ll show you how easy it is in just a few steps. I’m pretty sure it works in Elements the same way.

( Image 2 )
I usually just Drag and Drop the PDF into Photoshop because I have a dual monitor set-up and that’s easier for me, but you can just right click the PDF file and click “Open With” to choose your program.  When it opens up you’ll get a dialog box like the one above ( Image 1) that has all of the page options like the Name of the file, Image Size and Resolution, Color Mode etc-etc.

( Image 3 )
Depending what you want to do with the PDF, you can open all the Pages, a Single Page or just the Images separately, you decide in this box.  

( Image 2 )  

I usually leave these set at the defaults because PDF"s are usually pretty high resolution, like this one set at 300 Pixels/Inch, so I can edit it in Photoshop later or print it out pretty easily.

For this example, I needed just one page for my project (page 66) so I kept it at the default setting up top called Pages and highlighted the page I needed. You do this by just clicking on the page itself as seen here in blue. ( Image 3 )  Then I just click OK on the bottom of that dialog box to open it up in Photoshop. 

( Image 4 )
Now depending on what you chose,  a page or an image, this will decide how it opens in Photoshop. If you chose Page, then the page will come up in Photoshop with no background, just the text and the images on a transparent layer. If you just wanted to read the page like I do most of the time, it helps if I add a layer below it filled with white. 

I like shortcut keys so I just make sure my colors are set to default by tapping the D key, then holding the Control key down and clicking on the create new layer button on the bottom of the Layers panel as seen here. (Image 4 )  This will create a layer underneath your PDF page and while still holding down the Control key, I tap the Backspace key to fill it with white. Now you can see it easier and if you decide you’d like to keep it this way, you can hold the Control key again (or keeping it held down) and tap the letter E to flatten those two layers and save it any way you choose.  Pretty easy right?  I hope this helps someone, nice huh?

Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!

January 1, 2015

Lighting and Design for Portrait Photography

A few days ago I got a special package delivered that I had been waiting for, it was Neil van Niekerk’s newest book entitled “Lighting & Design for Portrait Photography”.  I’ve been a big fan of Neil’s for quite a few years now and this is his fourth book published to date. I’m sure that just like his last three books, this book will make a lot of people very happy.

For those of you that don’t know, Neil came from South Africa in 2000 and started out specializing in Weddings and Portrait Photography. Within just a few years his work started getting people’s attention and soon he became very much in demand in the Tri-State area and beyond.
Neil van Niekerk
All the while his skills with Off-Camera flash were also starting to be more widely recognized. Because of his knowledge with Speedlight’s and photography in general, he started a website, called Tangents, to help people with their own photography and flash skills. That website has grown to over 900 articles on photography and off-camera flash. These days Neil still does his Wedding and Portrait photography work as well as teaching in workshops and trade shows, so he is very much in demand. His skills with off-camera flash are right up there the best, photographers known for their own style of off-camera flash skills, such as Syl Arena, Joe McNally and David Hobby.
Neil started off with his first book in 2009 simply entitled: On-Camera Flash. It was an instant hit and was soon followed up with Off-Camera Flash in 2011. Both books were proved to be very popular.  His third book came out two years later and is called Direction & Quality of Light. In that book Neil tells you that lighting is all about one thing specifically: the Quality and Direction of Light. 

His latest book is very different from his previous books because this book is more about the thought process behind the shots.  In this book Neil uses available light, bounce flash, off-camera flash and even some professional studio lighting. For many photographers, lighting can be very intimidating to learn and Neil has an easy-to-follow way of explaining things. In this book Neil takes you through his whole set-up behind the shots, things like what types of lighting he used and why he chose them.

Whatever you’re skill level, if you’re just starting out with photography or have been at it for years, there is definitely something in here for everyone. The book is loaded from cover to cover with beautiful images and I’m sure you enjoy this book as much as I do.

Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography